The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Snip, Snip, Snip
by Elaine Pascale
The dark cave was littered with scraps of black paper; the detritus of many “start overs.”
“You are adding too many branches,” Clotho sighed. “That is not what I asked for.”
“You have changed your mind many times,” Atropos responded. “It is unlike you to be undecided.”
“And it is like you to be inflexible. You have seen images similar to what I want. A creepy tree…a black cat…”
“I will add those girls you decided against sparing last week,” Atropos giggled, “that was particularly cruel.”
“Blame her,” Clotho pointed to Lachesis, “She measured out such a small amount of thread that they wouldn’t have had much additional time. Better to end things now.”
“It’s never your fault,” Lachesis sighed. She massaged her gnarled joints that had become bulbous from eons of measuring and winding thread. “Just cut as she wants, dear sister,” she instructed Atropos. “It would be lovely to render the branches as bent and withered as we have become.”
“Impossible,” Atropos protested. “The scissors have been made dull by recent events. I cut threads so frequently I am left with no time to sharpen them. And now you ask for…decorations.”
“We will have to get ready for Halloween despite the pandemic,” Lachesis grinned, “at least, that is what I have heard the mortals say.”
“You listen to them?”
Lachesis had returned to winding thread around tiny spools. “I like to understand my work.”
Clotho rolled her rheumy eyes. “We have spent an eternity pretending to understand them. Please do not forget to add the cat. I love cats…”
“Yes…the girls and the cat…then I go back to cutting the humans’ threads?”
Lachesis rubbed her hairy chin thoughtfully, “After November 3, you will cut all the humans’ threads.”
Fiction © Copyright Elaine Pascale
Image courtesy of Christina Sng
More from Elaine Pascale:
The Blood Lights
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Jezzie Mitchell is in anguish; with her brother’s murder still on her mind, she’s noticed strange behavior among the girls in the residential treatment center where she works. Is there a connection between the contagion on Cape Cod and the deadly Bahamas vacation that changed her life?
Jezzie reaches out to former lover Lou Collins, a scholar who has chased proof of the lights for decades. Will he be able to solve the mystery of the lights in time?
Intensely competitive, reporter Bridgette Collins knows the lights are a way to secure fame in her career. And while it’ll put the final nail into the coffin of her ex-husband’s career, she vows to know the secrets of the lights. Even if it means unleashing a world-wide epidemic…
Ghoulish dark and delightful.
Loved the classical references – the fates are among my favourite characters and I loved your take on their bickering – and the chilling consequences!